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Worldfocus

News/Business. Martin Savidge. (2009) (CC) (Stereo)

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00:30:00

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America 8, Us 7, U.s. 7, United States 7, Israel 6, Iran 6, Milan 6, Italy 5, Afghanistan 4, Tehran 4, Obama Administration 3, Cia 3, Myanmar 3, Lebanon 3, Hezbollah 2, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2, Rosalind P. Walter 2, Clayton Swisher 2, Peter G. Peterson 2, Ahmadinejad 2,
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  WHUT    Worldfocus    News/Business. Martin  
   Savidge.  (2009)  (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 4, 2009
    7:00 - 7:30pm EST  

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anti-government iranian prote protesters take to the streets in tehran on the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the u.s. embassy there. in afghanistan, a terrible betrayal. an afghan police officer assigned to work with british troops turns on them, killing five. in italy, a landmark court ruling. cia agents are convicted of snatching a radical muslim cleric off the strts of milan as part of america's secret rendition program. and from the west bank, a look at a disappearing way of life. glass blowing. the struggle to maintain an ancient tradition. from the world's leading reporters and analysts, here's what's happening from around the world.
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this is "worldfocus." major support has been provided by rosalind p. walter, and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters -- hello and good evening. i'm daljit dhaliwal. it is a day that many iranians happily remember, but most americans would rather forget. today, november the 4th, marks the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the u.s. embassy in tehran. as they do every year, thousands of iranians gathered outside the former embassy to chant "death to america." but today they were met by hundreds of opposition protesters chanting "death to the dictator," a reference to the iranian president mahmoud
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ahmadinejad. things soon turned violent. that is our lead focus tonight. and we begin with this report by clayton swisher of al jazeera english. and because of restrictions by the iranian authorities on news coverage, much of his report relies on internet video posted by unknown sources. >> reporter: one of iran's biggest commemorations turns violent. november 4th is usually the day when citizens rally their anger against america. protests are normally confined to the areas just outside the former u.s. embassy, which ceased to be after students took it over 30 years to the day. the streets of tehran this year pear to show a different, if not conflicted scene. >> america can't do a single thing. iranian students can save this nation.
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>> reporter: in addition to these well organized state-sponsored anti-u.s. demos and all the usual banners and condemnations, thousands of anti-government protesters are also reported toave turned out for a rally of their own. voicing their anger against not only, america, but mahmoud ahmadinejad as well. his presidency has been clouded since the june elections. supporters of opposition candidate mir hossein moussavi will not let up, defying orders of the state to stay at home. witnesses say the police used teargas. and while it's impossible to verify these claims, reports of injuries are trickling in. for now these are the official images t government has offered on display. it does not want others to steal the limelight from one of its most celebrated watershed moments. it's impossible nowadays to distinguish who is standing up to who.
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clayton swisher, al jazeera. borzou daraghi is the middle east correspondent for "the los angeles times" and a frequent contributor to "worldfocus." he's been monitoring from beirut and we spoke with him by phone. >> reporter: the security foes mostly fired tear gas and rubber bullets to people. they attempt to surround demonstrators and intimidate them. there were reports of shots fired into the air but by and large they used nonlethal force. they're reluctant to hand the opposition more rallying cries. because it's a shiite muslim culture that elevates victims of political violence as cherished martyrs. the protests are not just confined to tehran but are actually spreading to other cities. otesters out on the street ny today as there were following the june 12th elections, they're gathering momentum, they're gathering steam. they're sending the message out
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to other parts of the country. they're also transferring their techniques, the techniques of media dissemination, for example. getting these videos up is really important because the western media they discovered will not report on something happening in a city unless they see credible videotape of it. >> for more on today's demonstrations, we're joined by geneive abdo who runs the inside iran project for the century foundation and joins us from washington, d.c. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> what is the exact status of the opposition movement in iraq and is it even accurate to call it a movement? >> well, it's definitely a movement, but it has really become much more diverse than it began last spring, right before the election. and now, for example, the movement includes people who are very religious, who have historically been supporters of ayatollah khomeini, who are now against him. and it also includes, of course,
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the more westerned iranians that we often season american television. >> so back in the summer, it seemed to be somewhat e morphous. you're saying that's no longer the case and it's much more broadly based? >> it's much more broadly based now. in fact, the information we're getting from inside iran is that even in areas and places such as islamic schools, universities, where president ahmadinejad and ayatollah khamenei had a lot of support, those people are now part of the opposition. so it's changed considerably certainly since the spring and even since last summer. >> what does that bode for its future? and can you tell us, do you feel that the movement has become a lot more radicalized since it was -- since the summer? >> well, that's a really interesting point.
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what has happened is that one of the many reasons that there are far fewer people on the streets today -- i think the reports are a few thousand -- compared with, say, in the summer, when as many as a million people were demonstrating, is that there's a lot of intimidation from the security forces, the revolutionary guards. so the people that we're seeing on the streets now are really the more radical part of the movement. and that's why ao the slogans are quite radical. >> and does the movement have a lead officerecause it seems as if we haven't heard a lot lately by the opposition leader, mir hossein mousavi. what exactly is his role in the movement these days? >> moussavi and mohammed khatami have said look, you know, the movement has even surpassed us. so please don't call us the leadership. but they like to be viewed as sort of the inspiration behind the movement. so that's sort of how they characterize their role. they have a symbolic role, and
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they also believe they're sort of inspiring the movement. today, for example, there were statements made on mr. moussavi's website that basically encouraged people to go out and demonstrate. >> and talk a little bit about president ahmadinejad. has he ended up now consolidating his hold on the iranian state? >> yes, i think that that's a fair characterization. he has, of course, since the summer consolidated his power, particularly through the revolutionary guards and the militia. so i think that it is fair to say now that iran is much more of a militarized state than it was last spring. that military apparatus of course supports president ahmadinejad. >> geneive abdo, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. it's my pleasure. it is not just events inside of iran that worry western policymakers.
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iran's support of militants throughout the middle east is also a source of concern. and today there was fresh evidence of just how much iran may be helping them. in the mediterranean sea near the island of cyprus, israeli naval commanders seized this ship. inside the vessel, according to the israeli officials, were hundreds of tons of weapons headed from iran to hezbollah fighters in lebanon, including rockets and missiles. it was said to be the largest shipment of arms ever intercepted by the israeli military. yesterday, we reported on allegations that hamas militants in gaza, next to southern israel, now possess a rocket capable of hitting tel aviv some 40 miles away. today we're learning more about it. it, too, is believed to have been supplied by iran, smuggled into gaza through underground tunnels. "worldfocus" producer yuval lion translated this report from
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israel's channel 10 news. >> reporter: though it was expected, the news was still dramatic. last thursday, hamas successfully test-fired a new rocket into the sea, one with a range of 37 miles. thus improving hamas's strategic capability. three of israel's largest cities, including tel aviv, are now within range. hamas did not want israel to detect the rocket launch, so it waited for stormy weather for the test-firing. but israeli intelligence officials were able to monitor the rocket launch anyway. still, hamas denied the report. >> do to the international pressure that israel is facing because of the goldstone report and the gaza war, israel is now fabricating stories to distract the media and to inflame international opinion against hamas. >> reporter: the rocket was probably part of a weapons shipment from iran. it apparently was smuggled into gaza through tunnels connecting gaza to egypt. in order to smuggle a weapon of
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this size through a tunnel, it would have been transported in pieces, then reassembled. the irania have many rockets that can travel as far as 40 miles, many of which are already in the hands of hezbollah, in lebanon. now they're also in gaza. there's no doubt that hezbollah is the model that has been copied by hamas. if today there are only a handful of rockets in gaza, within a year there will be many more. there's no count in the world that has so many rockets and missiles aimed at its territory as israel. the prime minister yesterday visited a joint united states/israeli missile defense maneuver. there th're preparing for all eventualities. rocket and missile attacks on israel from iran, syria are lebanon and gaza. >> the threat is new and the fact is our forces are being prepared to give a new response. >> the new response is the iron dome anti-missile system. it will be deployed in less than a year. but the fact that remains is from now on, in any future israeli conflict, from the north or the south, the heart of the nation tel aviv will be under threat.
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today in milan, italy, there today in milan, italy, there was a landmark court ruling regarding a program run by the central intelligence agency known as extraordinary renditn. under that program, terror suspects were secretly detained and flowto foreign countries for interrogations that some have described as torture. today an italian judge convicted 23 americans of kidnapping an egyptian cleric from a milan street in 2003 in one such operation. the cia has declined to comment on the case and all of the americans were tried in their absence. nevertheless, the judge immediately sentenced 22 of the americans to five years in jail. another american, the former cia
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station chief in milan, was given a sentence of eight years. the milan trial, which has lasted nearly three years, has been a sore spot in u.s./italian relations. for more on what this verdict means, we turn now to gabor rona, the international legal director of human rights first, an organization that has raised questions about the treatment of detainees. thank you very much for joining us on the program. >> my pleasure. >> what is the significance of the italian verdict? >> it's a very ordinary significance. the italians were merely enforcing their criminal laws against kidnapping, the same as any country should do. the significance for the united states is that the u.s. justice department should do the same. it should also be investigating and prosecuting cases of rendition that did not involve judicial process for the detainees. >> what's going to happen to these cia agents? >> well, unless they set foot in italy, probably nothing is going
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to happen to them as far as italian justice is concerned. but this certainly will put a crimp in their travel style, as well it should. and it should also put them on notice that they have committed crimes, that they could very well be investigated and prosecuted in the united states as well. >> how do you anticipate that the u.s. government is going to react to this verdict? >> i think it's a very difficult situation for the u.s. government right now, and i would be surprised by anything other than no comment. what the united states government needs to do first and foremost, first, is acknowledge that crimes were committed, that they need to be investigated and ifnd when they do that,there may be a different response? >> what does the obama administration believe is an appropriate use of rendition? >> the -- what we know so fatha intends to continue the process of rendition, but we are hopeful that it will be not rendition to
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torture, but, rather, rendition to criminal trial. >> you mean extraordinary rendition is off the table, that's not going to happen? >> well, we have reason to believe that the obama administration will not be allowing the cia, will not be allowing any of its operatives to transfer individuals to countries where they may be subjected to torture. but rendition, we are told, will continue to criminal prosecution in various countries that the individual may be sent to. >> should the united states be rendering terror suspects to overseas justice? what's the point of it? >> the united states shouldn't be rendering anyone anywhere unless it's pursuant to a judicial process in the country in which the person was picked up. every individual on the planet has a right to be free from arbitrary detention. and if you are denied judicial process at the point of capture, then that's a kidnapping and it shouldn't be done. >> so what legal architecture should we be using, then?
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>> in countries that have operating judicial systems, like italy, it is perfectly reasonable for the uted states to make a request of the italian authorities to arrest somebody who has committed a terrorist crime. >> and given today's outcome, do you think that we're going to see more prosecutions of american officials overseas? it's really hard to say. there are many other countries in which these kidnappings occurred, many other countries to which suspects were rendered for torture. it's entirely possible that there will be more investigations and prosecutions in other countries. but what really needs to happen is for the united states to clean its own dirty laundry first. >> okay. gabor rona, thank you very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. and that brings us to tonight's "how you see it." our question is, should american intelligence officials be punished for acts that some have described as torture? you can tell us what you think by going to the how you see it section of our website.
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that is at worldfocus.org. from asia, from the nation of myanmar, there are more signs that the obama administration is willing to reach out to countries once shunned by the united states. america's top diplomat for east asia is in myanmar, once known as burma, for high level talks. he is the highest ranking american diplomat to visit that country in 14 years. assistant secretary of state kurt campbell, in meeting with mien mar's prime minister held out the prospect of better relations with the united states if myanmar took steps toward becoming a more democratic nation. the country has been ruled by a military junta since 1962. while there, campbell also met
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with the nobel prize winning political activist aung san suu kyi. the activist, who remains under house arrest, was allowed to make a rare trip outside her home for the meeting. today, from afghanistan, there is news of a terrible betrayal. an afghan police officer assigned to work with british troops in helmand province opened fire on the soldiers, killing five of them. itain has 9,000 troops in afghanistan, and today marks one of the single deadliest days of british forces in that country. after the attacks, british prime minister gordon brown suggested that the taliban may have infiltrated the afghan police force. rags martel of britain's itn filed this report earlier today. >> reporter: this is the moment immediately after the atta. heavily injured soldiers arrived by helicopter at camp bastion. british soldiers had just been
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working with afghan police forces when one of them turned against them with a gun. five soldiers shot dead. >> our initial understanding of what went on is that an individual afghan national policeman, possibly acting in conjunction with other, started firing inside the checkpoint before fleeing from the scene. >> reporter: for the last two weeks, british soldiers had been living with afghan policemen in helmand. nad-ali district at a police checkpoint. yesterday afternoon close to a village called shin kalay, one of the men they'd been mentoring opened fire. >> this appears to be an individual, a rogue who has committed it. and we are putting every effort, as you can imagine, into tracking this man down and those responsible for it. >> reporter: three of the dead soldiers were from the grenadier guard, two from the royal military police. it brings the number of dead
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since the conflict began to 229. this, the bloodiest year for the armed forces since the falklands war. the attack highlights the difficulties of training afghan forces. in august, channel 4 news reported on the tensions between british soldiers and the troops they were mentoring. >> get soldiers from standing around there. get them in there into the building. >> of course this incident will shake -- in the short term will shake the confidence and trust of our soldiers in dealing with their counterparts in the afghan national army and police, until we really understand the motive of the people or person who carried out the attack, we won't know how serious that is. but it wouldn't surprise me if there weret a lot of british soldiers in helmand today working alongside the afghans with the finger object the trigger and safety catch off to deal with a similar situation if it arose again. >> reporter: five dead is one of the biggest single losses of
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british life in one incident in afghanistan. today former minister kim howeels broke with government policy calling for a withdrawal of our troops. >> we can't go on forever saying we'll be there as long as it takes. that's a cliche that won't wash because we have to convince our communities that after all produce our armed forces that they should continue to give up their loved one for the next seven or ten or 30 years. >> reporter: at least two a began soldiers were also killed in the attack. vetting new recruits, though, will become a political issue. army officials insist this was an isolated case. one of the things that we one of the things that we pride ourselves on here at "worldfocus" is bringing you
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different views and perspectives of the world. take the west bank, for example. amid all of the news of turmoil, it is easily forgotten that many residents there lead lives rich in culture. earlier this year, "worldfocus" producer mohammad al kassam traveled to the west bank town of hebron, where he met a gifted artisan dedicated to preserving the ancient art of glass blowing. al kassam has the story told in the n words. [ speaking in foreign language ] [ speaking in foreign language ]
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[ speaking in foreign language ] [ speaking in foreign language ] [ speaking in foreign language ]
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[ speaking in foreign language ] [ speaking in foreign language ]
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that is "worldfocus" for now. don't forget there is plenty more news and perspective on our website at worldfocus.org. i'm daljit dhaliwal. in new york. thank you for joining us. we'll see you back here at the same time tomorrow. good-bye. major support for "worldfocus" has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters -- -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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